Warehouse Process Improvement

We live in a time of accelerating change and this is equally true of the demands placed on warehouses. But warehousing methods rarely adapt at the speed of the changes being imposed on them and this inevitably leads to inefficiency and sub-optimal performance. Yet it is often the case that even small changes in methods and processes can make a big difference to the effectiveness of the operation.

When asked the reason for a particular procedure one often gets the reply, “we have always done it that way” or one finds that the method has been developed to overcome a deficiency which can be avoided in another way.

It is a truism that improvements in processes will usually yield a higher level of benefits than improvements in, say, layout and methods of handling, but even greater benefits can be achieved by looking at the two together.

Whereas most warehouse consultants are familiar with either warehouse design or warehouse systems Ted Maley Logistics is able to cover both aspects and is able to advise not only on process and system issues but also on methods of storage.

As a general principle the focus is on eliminating or reducing unproductive activities within the warehouse and emphasising the flow of goods. For unless one is storing fine wines or whisky it is only the flow of goods and the conversion of goods from the form in which they were received to the form in which customers want them that adds value, not their storage.

The approach taken is typically to study the warehouse operation and identify opportunities for change and the associated benefits. If required this can be extended into a detailed cost / benefit analysis. Subsequent phases depend very much on the initial findings but could include development of a User Requirements document, preparation of a Request for Information (RFI) or Invitation to Tender (ITT) and management of a software selection process. With regard to storage issues it could include the analysis of existing or projected stock-holdings and the development of more appropriate methods of storage and handling.

Assuming the project was approved Ted Maley Logistics would project manage the ensuing installation and implementation work.

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